The villagers of Bhalugadia in Talcher, who have resorted to agitation demanding jobs to more villagers in Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), have threatened to intensify the agitation by paralysing all the coalmines at Talcher and enforcing Talcher bandh on May 6.
The villagers have stopped all the mining operations in mega Hingula mines for the last 18 days demanding jobs to 62 villagers against the land acquired by MCL for the expansion of mining work. MCL, on the other hand, refused to meet their demand saying that the claimants are not eligible.
The company officials claimed that the land of the 62 claimants come under the de-allocated coal block. The agitating villagers not only shut down the coal mine but also the offices in the mine including that of General Manager of Hingula area.
MCL sources said employees of Hingula area have not been paid salary for April and drinking water supply to the local people has been affected as the office remained closed due to the strike.
The stand-off between the agitating villagers and MCL authorities continues as a series of meetings convened by local administration failed to yield any solution. The villagers have threatened to go ahead with their decision if no solution is found to their demands by May 6. Chief Secretary GC Pati is scheduled to visit Talcher on the day to attend a function at NTPC-Kaniha.
Meanwhile, local unit of BJP has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene and direct the Chief Secretary to hold a meeting of both the parties to sort out the issue.
In a statement, BJP leader Kalandi Samal blamed the State Government for not doing anything to run the mine on which various sections of the society depend for livelihood.